Choosing to argue: Towards a theory of argumentative decisions

This paper outlines the relevance of decision-making for argumentation, and some theoretical implications of looking at arguments from the standpoint of decision theory. Several strategic decisions required for arguing are analyzed: whether to enter an argument or not, what arguments to use and how to present them, how to react to arguments of the counterpart, how to respond to challenges and objections, how to solve potential ambiguities, when and how to end the argument. Although central for arguing, decision-making has been taken for granted rather than explored in argumentation theories, with few exceptions. This neglect originates from insisting on what is the right move in an argumentative situation, rather than how the subject decides to opt (or not) for that move. In this paper I describe a process-based taxonomy of the main decisions required to initiate, conduce, and terminate arguments, then review some preliminary empirical findings on how people decide to engage and disengage from argumentative interchange, and highlight how a theory of argumentative decisions offers new insight on the role of cognitive biases and constraints in human communication. (C) 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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North-Holland, Amsterdam , Paesi Bassi
Journal of pragmatics 59 (2013): 153–163. doi:10.1016/j.pragma.2013.07.010
info:cnr-pdr/source/autori:Paglieri, Fabio/titolo:Choosing to argue: Towards a theory of argumentative decisions/doi:10.1016/j.pragma.2013.07.010/rivista:Journal of pragmatics/anno:2013/pagina_da:153/pagina_a:163/intervallo_pagine:153–163/volume:59
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